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Girlfriends Weekend in Palm Springs


Mini Mylar letter balloons were the perfect thing to use for our event hashtag. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comSo excited to be sharing a recap of day 1 of the creative retreat Lauren and I put together in Palm Springs at the beginning of August! This is absolutely a labor of love for us. We really love to collaborate and get groups of creative gals together to get to know each other better, find relaxation, inspiration and talk shop. This year’s focus was on all things cocktail so we came up with the hashtag #campmixalot and had a loose summer camp theme throughout the weekend. The purpose of the cocktail theme was not so that we had an excuse to get spring break drunk.  These getaways are designed to enjoy, relax, learn and grow. There are so many different aspects of cocktail culture that we thought it could make for some fun learning. We were right.

This is our second year hosting the event. For disclosure purposes, this event was not sponsored but we were truly lucky to have some great brands send product for this great weekend to help us keep the costs down. I will note those at the end. This year our event was held at a private home in Palm Springs. We welcomed 6 other gals to the house the first day with the hashtag floating in the pool. I’m still in love with these mini mylar balloons. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

Welcome sign for cocktail camp. Hand painted by @laurenv for #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI feel grateful for the blogging world and the friends it has led me to and the experiences I am able to have because of it. To be able to put together a special weekend for some great gals makes my heart happy.  P.S. it doesn’t suck when you co-host has the world’s best writing ever for the signage.

@onehopewine Sparkling Wine cocktails for a nice welcome to our gals attending our creative retreat. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comOne Hope Wine set us up with sparkling wine for our welcome cocktails.  We had it chilled and ready to go for the girl’s arrival.

Fresh herb and frozen melon balls mixed with sparkling champagne are the perfect welcome drink. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe set out fresh herbs and frozen melon balls to jazz up the sparkling wine. My fave combo was basil with watermelon. So yum! 

Use frozen melon balls in sparkling champagne for a touch of color and flavor. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI love this idea for so many reasons! The frozen balls won’t dilute the wine, add a nice subtle flavor and a pop of color. Oh and when you are done with your drink you also have a delicious little sparkling wine soaked treat…

Welcome cocktails by the pool. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comThe girls arrived separately so we spent some time hanging out and relaxing while we waited for the others to arrive. I was SO excited that Alexandra Hedin could join us this year. I love this girl. This girl is like a younger, more fun Martha Stewart (side note: I have never met Martha. I’m sure she might be loads of fun but I have never seen it with my own eyes, so her being considered unfun is purely speculation) And her laugh is my favorite.

Gift bags for our creative retreat gals! #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe passed out the goodie bags as the girls arrived since we had some fun things they could use throughout the weekend.  More info on what was in these bags to come. And we will be giving away a goodie bag to a lucky winner!  You guys are going to love it!

Snack tasting to welcome the gals to our creative retreat in Palm Springs this summer. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe set out snacks in case the girls needed a bite before lunch.  You can read all about this Taste of Nature granola bar tasting party. 

Pool side wine tasting lunch with @onehopewine #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comFor lunch we did a wine tasting with One Hope Wines by the pool.  This is Palm Springs after all.  It is always a priority to spend as much time out by the pool as possible! Lauren and I made some of our favorite salads, like this crab salad, to go with the Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling Wine.  I was really in to that Sparkling Wine. So good.

Mixing cucumber margaritas in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI had planned a signature cocktail for each afternoon so day 1 was Cucumber Margaritas.  Because I can’t get enough of these. The inspiration came from my recent trip to Mexico and I just want to share them with everyone! And with high temperatures, the cucumber made it extra refreshing. 

Cucumber margaritas in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe served these out by the pool…until we started hearing some thunder and seeing clouds roll in from off in the distance…(foreshadow).

Resq Water is a must when you are planning a cocktail themed creative retreat. Sign was hand painted by @laurenv for #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe kept the decorating out by the pool to a minimum but this Rihanna quote was too good not to display. And with all the cocktails being passed, we made sure the girl’s had a supply of RESQ WATER to help with the hangovers…This is my fave. I should have probably had more of it…

flash-flood-warningOh hey, what’s that noise?  All of our phones suddenly went crazy with alerts. But the funniest part is that it came up over the picture of me holding the cucumber margaritas, from Lauren’s Instagram account, that we enjoyed by the pool literally minutes before…And very quickly it went from bikinis and bevies by the pool to…

Rain and pools do not mix. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.coma full on monsoon. We retreated to the covered patio for about 1 minute until the winds came up and literally soaked everything, and us, in a matter of minutes.  We ran for cover inside.  Then we realized that the pool floaties were blowing down the golf course…Don’t worry, we saved most of them.

We set out a bar for our creative retreat attendees. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comSo inside we opened the bar and let the girls mix their own drinks and dry off. We kept the music going and had a rad afternoon. 

Bead it yourself station at our creative retreat. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe always like to have a few crafts on hand for the guests to do and the rainy afternoon was the perfect time for them. We set out some supplies to make friendship bracelet wine glass markers and bead-your-own necklaces.

Easy felt craft for our creative retreat. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe also put out colored felt, frames and fabric to make our own super easy, colorful signs. Finally, a few hours later, the rain let up and the sun came out again.  Which I was grateful for because my hair does NOT like moisture. Frizz city.

Bar in Palm Springs. The spot to grab a drink before and after dinner. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI love the town of Palm Springs and try to visit a few times each summer.  On a previous visit I had talked to the guys at Bar about doing a really casual cocktail demo during our retreat.  The staff really knows their stuff and make delicious craft cocktails. And I LOVE the bold art. So we made a stop before dinner to grab a cocktail and ask any questions we had of these talented bartenders.

Craft cocktails at Bar in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comThey gladly talked us through what they were making and about the different liquors they use at the bar. And the music they played was fantastic. 

You must check out Bar in Palm Springs for their craft cocktails! #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI went with an Old Fashioned .  It was awesome to see the girls order different cocktails and pass them around for everyone to try. Some even worked with the bartender to come up with something custom. 

Bombay Government Punch at Workshop Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comThen we headed to Workshop. While we try to keep each creative retreat new and do different things, we HAD to go back to a fave spot from last year. Workshop Kitchen and Bar is amazing. The ambiance is the best, the food is perfection and the staff is awesome.  And they have punch.  You HAVE to have the punch. Government Bombay Punch to be exact. And have a designated driver. We used Uber. (You can see more about why I love Uber in this post, and you can use the code SHARONG75 to get your first ride free up to $30! I’m a total Uber nerd but it’s awesome!)

One of the best restaurants in Palm Springs is Workshop. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comThe food! Absolutely sensational. These enchiladas were outstanding! I’ve been lucky enough to try several of the menu items at list point and they are all exactly what you are hoping for when you are a foodie and looking for a great time with your friends.  This is THE place to go when you are in town. After dinner, we head back over to Bar for one more drink and then it was back to the house for a good nights sleep!

Being able to spend this quality time with other creatives, whether bloggers or creative entrepreneurs is absolutely good for the soul. Do you ever take time to get away? Can’t wait to share day 2 with you tomorrow!

Here are the fabulous brands that provided product for #campmixalot – and don’t forget to check out that hashtag on Instagram to see more of our fun!

Big old high-five to One Hope Wine for the welcome cocktails and wine for the wine tasting lunch!

Big thank you to Patron Tequila, Captain Morgans 1671, Smirnoff and Four Roses Bourbon for making our bar happen.

Super hugs to RESQ WATER for allowing us to enjoy the above mentioned bar with only minor repercussions.

I love planning events with @laurenv #campmixalot // cupcakesandcutlery.comMost importantly, thank you to Lauren for being so awesome to plan fun stuff with! We make a pretty good team.

Do you think this looks like fun? Would you ever want to come to a weekend that we plan? 

Handmade notebooks with our creative retreat event hashtag. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comDay 2 of #campmixalot is here!! Now I know what you are thinking, Sharon – day 1 had a lot of cocktails…And you are correct.  I was pretty slow the morning of day 2. But there was too much planned for the day so I grabbed another RESQ WATER and got moving. And coffee.  Lots of coffee. 

If you missed yesterdays post, I am recapping the creative retreat weekend in Palm Springs that Lauren and I plan every year.  This year’s took place in the beginning of August and was cocktail themed.

Acai bowl bar for breakfast. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comEach morning we set out an easy breakfast spread. Sambazon provided acai packets and Driscoll’s Berries provided us with fresh berries to make acai bowls. There may have also been a donut or two…But I’m obsessed with acai bowls so I thought those would be a good healthy start to the day. The girls loved them. They are super easy to make, taste delicious and a nice counter point to some of the decadence of the weekend…

Impromptu fashion show in the Palm Springs desert with dress from @lulusdotcom #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comDay 2 had us on a thrift shop tour.  We headed out to a few different shops in the Coachella Valley.  But when you see an empty lot and you love your dress, you stop for a photo shoot. I brought my inner supermodel. I hate to have my photo taken so I sort of thought of myself as a character and had some fun with it. I think that is what I will do from now on when someone points a camera at me. I’ve got to come up with some really great personalities to draw from…I found some great new props for upcoming recipe and cocktail posts. 

Appetito in Palm Springs is one of my fave new spots for lunch. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comFor lunch we stopped by Appetito. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to eat in Palm Springs. I was so glad to share it with the girls. Their fresh pasta is crazy good and these meatball sliders are a must. The staff is on top of everything and super friendly. It is located right across the street from the Ace Hotel and has great design and a large outdoor patio for when the weather cools down.

Pool time in Palm Springs was perfect for chatting and getting to know each other better. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd then we returned home. And sat in the pool.  All afternoon. We had the chance to really laugh and get to know each other.  And did I mention laugh? We talked about our blogs, our businesses and everything else under the sun.  Which decided to be a constant companion on day 2. No more rain. 

paddle-ball-for-palm-springs-weekendWe set out paddleball just in case anyone wanted to be a little active.  The afternoon was super relaxed and exactly what everyone needed.  Aside from chatting about our creative worlds, the down time was really great for slowing life down for just a minute.  I think it is really important to do that every once in a while. I know for me, when I get really busy and pressured to work on the blog, my creativity suffers.  Stepping away really helps. 

Pool selfie in Palm Springs #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comPool selfie! While I knew everyone who attended, it was awesome getting to know a few of the girls better. I’m so grateful of this time with them.  And if you follow me on Instagram, you know that Palm Springs is my happy place. I am always so glad to share my favorite places with other people.

Flamingos and cocktails by the pool in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comAgain, we had a signature cocktail for the afternoon.  We went with Tortuga Nights. Like me when I first made the, the ladies were a bit skeptical of the white zinfandel…but like I knew they would, everyone LOVED this drink! You HAVE to try it! This is a selfie I found on my phone of Lauren enjoying one.

Golden Road Beer and palm trees = a great afternoon. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe also had some Golden Road Brewing out for the gals that needed a break from cocktails. This company is LA based and has gorgeous cans! This creative crowd really appreciated that. My favorite was this IPA where proceeds from the sale helps Heal the Bay and I can’t wait to go check out their pub.  I hear it is totally family friendly!

Appetizers alfresco Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd then came my favorite part of the weekend.  On a previous Palm Springs trip we had a private chef cater dinner for my family. I really wanted to give the girls that same experience because the caterer is AWESOME! Michelle Globis of Palm Springs Plan arrived in the late afternoon and began prepping. I am going to do a full post on her later this week but for now, all you need to know is that you need to hire her on your next trip to the desert. We started off with an appetizer hour including figs grown in her own yard and delicious charcuterie.

Add a little vodka to some hibiscus cooler for a fun and refreshing beverage. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comMichelle likes to start off the night with a delicious beverage. They are always non-alcoholic and SO refreshing!  This one was a hibiscus cooler and was AMAZING! We brought out some vodka in case anyone wanted to take it up a notch. I would love to recreate this at home. This was not sweet and had such great herbal notes. It was perfect for a warm summer evening.

The creative retreat was the perfect time to get to know each other better and find projects to collaborate on. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWhile we would enjoy the plated dinner inside, appetizers were held on the patio. We brought out music and had a lovely happy hour. 

Creative retreat in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comBut you know this is never far behind when you are dealing with a group of bloggers…

Palm Trees and sunset in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comIt was pretty much the perfect evening. 

Catered dinner at our creative retreat in Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe moved inside for dinner to the gorgeous table Lauren had set. We poured some more One Hope Wine and for the next few hours enjoyed course after course of amazing food.  I am a huge fan of Michelle’s work and it was very special to me to be able to share her with my friends. Every single dish was unique and delicious. I can’t wait to share more about the full dinner with you later this week!

Pajama party! with @pjsalvage #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comAfter dinner we got in to our PJ Salvage jammies to get more comfy. We are so grateful they provided each girl with her own set of cute pajamas and eye masks. 

Kentucky Mules for an after dinner drink. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comBut the night was still young so we made some after dinner drinks and laughed some more. 

Yummy snacks for our creative retreat. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe made sure to keep snacks on hand in case anyone was hungry. After our crazy good meal, there was not a lot of room for anything else.  But if you put popcorn in front of me I’m not going to say no.  And if you’ve ever tried this G.H Cretors Popcorn then you know how irrisistable it is. SO GOOD! I’m kind of obsessed with the Chicago mix which is cheddar and caramel corn, mixed! I wasn’t sure about it at first. But it is a big old YES!

Carved watermelon sign is easy party decor and super cute. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comFor our final morning together we decided to have a little pajama breakfast party.  How fun is that watermelon?! One of the gals, Carole, had created a carved watermelon for me for a photo shoot I did years ago and I asked her if she would do another one.  I’ll show you how to do this in a few weeks! Super easy and so fun, am I right?!

Pajama party with @pjsalvage for our creative retreat to Palm Springs. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe kept the morning casual, hung out in our jammies and drank our coffee reminiscing of the fun things that happened over the last few days. 

The cutest @pjsalvage pajamas for our pajama party on the last morning of our creative retreat. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI don’t think anyone really wanted to leave and get back to reality. 

How cute are these @pjsalvage pajamas! #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comI know that I really just wanted to hang out by the pool for the rest of the day. Or stay in my pajamas.

@pjsalvage eye mask #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comOr take a nap…

Infuse your own vodka for a fun party favor. #campmixalot. // cupcakesandcutlery.comWe had just enough time to have each lady make their own party favor before it was time for everyone to get on the road and head home. We brought stuff to infuse vodka. Huge thank you to Smirnoff for providing the vodka! Each gal could make a few different flavors. We set out fresh herbs and fruit for them to choose from. I love that they got to take home a useful favor and that when they create a cocktail with it, they will remember our time together in the desert.

mini-letter-mylar-balloons-sign#campmixalot was so amazing in so many ways. For Lauren and I, we get to plan rad themed events that bring rad girls together. We don’t know how these events will grow and change from now until next year but if you are interested in finding out more about the next one, and possibly attending, we’d love for you to let us know! Fill out this quick form here.  And don’t forget to check out the hashtag on Instagram to see more of our weekend!

bar-for-creative-retreatWe are so grateful to the brands that sent product so we could keep costs down and provide a really fun weekend for the other gals!

Sambazon and Driscoll’s Berries made breakfast possible. And healthy.

Thank you to Patron Tequila, Captain Morgans 1671, Four Roses Bourbon, One Hope Wine, American Harvest Vodka and Golden Road Brewery for keeping the gal’s glasses full and tasty.

Michelle Globis you are awesome and I can’t wait until our next dinner! We are ecstatic that we were able to work with you to provide the best dinner experience ever and make it fit our budget!

Thank you G.H. Cretors for sending the most delicious popcorn! Snacks are my fave!

Our pajama party was made possible by PJ Salvage! Thank you! Their super comfy jammies are available online and at Nordstrom and I think would make a fantastic gift idea this holiday season! They sent a pair for each gal and an extra so Lauren and I can do a giveaway! More info on that soon!

Thank you Smirnoff and Specialty Bottle for providing the items for our favor station.

Thank you RESQ WATER for keeping us hydrated and hangover free!

Thank you to Kidecals who provided a super cute item for our gift bags that I can’t wait to show you!

Thank you to Alexandra Hedin for setting up the amazing house! It was so fun to be staying in one place instead of different hotel rooms! And we couldn’t have done that without you! THANK YOU!

Until next year, friends! If you haven’t read about Day 1 yet, go now!

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  1. Was it easy to get the mylar ballloons to stay together and float?

    1. Hi Joyce,

      I think we used fishing line to tie them together. I remember there being tabs with holes at the top and bottom so you can create a garland. Then we just laid them on the pool. The only downside was that after they sat for a while, it seemed like some of the mylar was coming off and floating in the pool…So be aware of that!! :)

    1. It has been the last two years and we really LOVE Palm Springs, so chances are good. :) Hope you can come next year!

  2. Michelle Globis says:

    AMAZING recap! LOVE the fresh fruit & herbs for sparking wine (def will ‘borrow’ that idea) and this is just Day 1? Wow you gals know how to have a party..er, I mean retreat ;)

  3. Alexandra Hedin says:

    Blushing! Thanks for the fabby weekend ladies

  4. AHmazing! So wish I could have joined y’all, one year I will. It looks like a blast even with a monsoon.

    1. It was! A little rain can’t stop us from having a good time! Wish you could have come too!

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